As the youngest of eleven children, a lot of things went unsaid when I was growing up. My Dad – a workaholic and at times very stern man – wasn’t big on touchy feely communication. All these years later I’m starting to realize that upbringing comes in handy covering the NBA.
There was no such thing as an “allowance” in my family. The roof over your head, food on the table and clothes on you back – many times hand-me-downs – was the stipend.
So if I wanted some spending money, my mother typically told me to “ask your father.”
Great. I knew a “no” was on the way before even thinking of asking. Why even bother? Money was not a topic I approached my Dad with. After working a graveyard shift, sometimes picking up an overtime shift on top of that to help ends meet, all he wanted to do was rest…..or work around the house.
I grew up afraid to ask him for anything, let alone money.
So I kept to myself, learning quickly to unwant.
You can’t get away with that in this league.
Front offices, coaches, players, agents, scouts and “sources” are the heart of your information, regardless if it is a life feature story to tell or emerging news to report. Without that, this job is irrelevant. If you want to know, you have to go ask.
Sitting on your hands isn’t an option.
It’s a death sentence.
No one else is going to ask your questions, write your story or build a relationship for you. That’s on you. Regardless what someone tells everyone else, all you can really truthfully bank on is what you hear first hand from the person you are conversing with.
In this case Kevin Pritchard.
Yesterday afternoon I ran a story over at HOOPSWORLD discussing Pritchard’s thoughts on the Blazers and the upcoming NBA trade deadline – and more specifically, Portland’s place in making moves. A good hour or so later, I received comments and emails about the story, refuting Portland’s decision to make a trade in the coming weeks.
All I can say is this: if I want to know something, I don’t have a problem inquiring. What I can’t control however is what “said person” tells someone else. It happens. The last thing any GM is going to do right now is show their hand, regardless if they have a full house or are bluffing.
It’s all about the poker face.
So what do you do? You take the person for their word.
All I can do is speak up and ask.
pic via: sme-blog.net